Sex and porn connection

OLIVIA KATULKA & ELIZABETH HECKENBERGER

He’s a 73-year-old retired
Air Force veteran with a
girlfriend. But many days
he sits at the computer for
hours at a time, looking at
Internet pornography.
“A lot of times 12 hours
will go by and I don’t even
realize I’ve been sitting at
the computer all that time,”
says John Williams (not his
real name).
Williams is just one of the
40 million Americans who
view online porn each day.
A c c o r d i n g t o
OnlineMBA.com, every second
of every day 28,258
Internet users are viewing
pornography. One in four
search engine requests are
porn-related. Within the
same second $3,075.64 is
being spent on porn.
According to psychologist
and sex therapist Dr. Keith
Abrams, porn addiction
involves downloading
pornography, looking at
pornography in the work
place, or spending three to
four hours a night looking
at it.
Porn addiction consists of
excessive time spent on
pornographic sites, the
inability to stop the obsession
and interference with
normal relationships.
According to recoveryconnection.
org, “viewing
pornography is used as a
quick fix or tension reliever
to other underlying issues.”
Williams is divorced but
has a girlfriend a few hours
away from his home.
All of his four children are
grown and in other states,
so he spends his time drinking,
cooking and watching
pornography. Williams
only started watching porn
within the last couple of
years, when he purchased a
computer and began learning
how to use it.
Internet porn addicts have
an overwhelming urge to
continually watch pornographic
images. As a result,
addicts often find themselves
neglecting their family
and friends. Important
things in life take a back
seat as their addiction takes
over.
Nielson Online, which
tracked data in 2010 states,
found that 25 percent of
Americans who have
Internet access in the workplace
have viewed sex sites
during working hours.
Beyond an addiction to
Intermet porn is the addiction
to sex itself.
Psychologist Dr. Vincent
Berger says some experts
consider sexual addictions
as dangerous as substance
addiction due to the fact
that sexual addictions get
worse over time. Most
addicts claim that they
started with limited masturbation,
the occasional visit
to the strip bar, and minimal
risky sexual behaviors.
However, these behaviors
often progress into an
addiction that begins to take
over the life of the addict.
According to The Society
of Advancement of Sexual
Health, 3 to 5 percent of
Americans suffer from sex
addiction. However, the
statistic only includes those
people who have come
forth and admitted their
problem. Every year the statistic
rises due to the
increase in people looking
for help.
“I always have two people
on the back burner just
in case the person I planned
to have sex with bails,” says
Rachel, 20, a sex addict.
Sex addiction is a behavioral
problem that takes
over one’s ability to control
their cravings for sexual
intimacy. In time, their
uncontrollable behavior
eventually becomes damaging
to their lives and thelives
of those around them.
A symptom of sex addiction
is having intercourse
with multiple partners. An
addictive personality
requires the addict to plan
in advance the next time
they decide to take part in
such action.
“An addict is never living
in the present day. They are
always planning their next
attempt to get high. In this
case, have sex,” says recovering
alcoholic Justin Titus.
Some sex addicts are also
known to engage in sexual
intercourse with prostitutes
and/or sexual workers.
“A lot of the time the people
I have sex with are not
up for it anymore,” says
Rachel.
Masturbating an excessive
amount is a well known
symptom of sex addiction.
The amount of time spent
on self-pleasure can even
lead to injury.
“I have many toys that I
use on a daily basis to help
me get my fix if I couldn’t
have sex that day. It makes
my struggle a little less difficult,”
says Rachel.
According to WebMD,
treatment of sexual addiction
focuses on controlling
addictive behavior and
helping the addict develop
a healthy sexuality.
Aspects of treatment can
include individual counseling
and marital and/or
family therapy. Also available
are support groups and
12-step recovery programs.
In some cases, medications
used to treat obsessive-
compulsive disorder
may be also used to curb the
compulsive nature of the
sex addiction.
When asked if people
with both the sexual and
pornography addiction can
be cured, Berger said, “It’s
like diabetes, it never goes
away, but you can learn to
reduce and control it.”
When asked if it’s comparable
to alcoholism and
other addictions, he said
“There’s no way to compare
any addiction, they are all
very debilitating.”